Lately I have been thinking a lot about my work and where I am going with it. It’s not going well at the moment, and there are a couple of reasons why.
One is that I am disappointed with the reaction that I’ve had from Catskinner’s Book. Just about everyone who has read it has liked it, usually quite a bit, but very few are reading it.
I know, I know, it’s only been three months, and I shouldn’t expect it to be a best seller immediately. I know that in my head, but for so long I was so focused on finishing it and getting it to market that I never really thought much past that point. Becoming a published author was my goal, and I’ve achieved that. So what?
I am pushing through that dose of reality, but it’s a bit of a push. It’s not so much that I expected that I would instantly become rich, that I thought I would feel different. That I would be different.
Life goes on, and it’s a lot like life before I published my book.
Unfortunately, that feeling of being let down is coming out in my writing. Cannibal Hearts picks up about a year after the end of Catskinner’s Book, and James is working with Godiva in commercial real estate, being a landlord to primarily Outsider-influence tenants. Godiva has basically taken over Keith Morgan’s old position, with James/Catskinner as her primary enforcer.
I see, looking over what I have so far, that I have written into James’ musing the same feeling I have about writing–it’s become a job.
I have lost my sense of wonder.
It’s the same thing with everything, I suppose. The first time I drilled open a safe was a huge rush–by the twentieth time it was just my job. (Note: I did this legally, working as a locksmith.) Ditto with repo work–the adrenaline rush only lasts so long.
I need to get it back. Both for myself and for James, because it’s going to be a very dull sequel otherwise. Yes, I have ideas for what’s going to happen in the story, and there will be blood and scary stuff and the random bizarre semi-human characters that my readers have come to expect, but if I can’t get excited about it then James won’t be excited about it, and then my readers won’t get excited about it, and we might as well all go live in a trailer park in Florida and yell at the kids to stay off our lawns.
So last night I was cruising IMDB.com for science fiction movies from the 1970’s, because that’s what I remember awaking my sense of wonder as a child. That’s my mythology, where my inspiration comes from.
If my muse had physical form she’d be wearing silver vinyl go-go books with chunky platform heels, and white lipstick, and hoop earrings that you could wear as armbands, and she’d be packing a sidearm made from a vacuum cleaner attachment with flashing red LEDs glued to it.
I need to get my mojo back. And I think I’m going to start by hitting Netflix up for every bad 1970’s sci-fi creature feature I can find. American International, House Of Hammer, whatever it takes.